The idea that we’re asking the wrong question of our coworkers comes to me at an appropriate time; Halloween. At Halloween we never ask “What do you want to do?” We ask “Who do you want to be?” “Who are you going as?” “What are you going to be?”.
Probing questions of the self and the remaking of ones self. In our daily lives if only we framed it this way. Too often we might ask someone “What they want to do?”. This puts the work in the driver seat and who they are constant, illustrating no personal growth. Instead, we need to get at who someone wants to be and where they want to go. In this framing, the work is the vehicle as opposed to the driver.
Who do you want to be as a result of the work you do? You would say something like Doctor, not, someone that knows how to operate small, sharp implements. In technology, focus less on what you want to do (full stack developer for example) and more on who you want to be (a change agent).
Anyone can go work at a company, woohoo there’s a million. But not everyone can enter an organization and be a force of change and optimism. Special people don’t just happen, they are all of us making a series of intentional interpersonal design decisions every day, over several years. Some call this growth, a plan, a career.
I call it who I want to be. The person that I’d be proud of 10 years from now. Would 41 year old me look back and be proud of who I was. How do I achieve that.. The skill-sets and chips will fall where they may to get you there. Just always remember, it’s just getting you where you want to go, and who you want to be.